Cherry Street and Mr. Miller


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The best thing about living on Cherry Street was Mr. Miller.   Mr. Miller owned 8 or maybe it was only 6 run down little houses.  The upper row faced Cherry Street and the bottom row faced Beverly Drive.  I can remember us living in 3 different of his houses at one time or another.

Mom waitressed most of the time, raising 4 of us kids.  It was hard on her, I’m sure.  Mr. Miller’s houses weren’t fancy, but they were there when we needed them.  I’m sure my mother and Mr. Miller developed a relationship of sorts after a while, since we had rented from him on numerous occasions.

I don’t remember a lot about how Mr. Miller looked, except that he had gray hair.  He was a kind man with a bright smile.

In the summertime, Mr. Miller would pull into the neighborhood on his motorcycle.  It was a big bike with the saddle bags on the back and all the bells & whistles.  He would spend time giving all the kids in the neighborhood rides on it.  He didn’t give rides in the way you would think.  He would pile as many kids on that bike as he could!  There would be a couple in front of him, on the tank, a couple behind him, maybe one on the handle bars and maybe even one on the front fender!  Then he would slowly putt around the neighborhood with all us little kids squealing with delight!

Now days, of course you would never think about doing such a thing!  The parents would sue!!  But this was in the 1960’s, when the world was much different than it is today.

Mr. Miller made sure that every kid that wanted a ride had a turn.

Mr. Miller must have loved kids.  He would save the toys that were left in his rentals and pass them out to the needy at Christmas time.

Mr. Miller’s houses were furnished.  Even though they were a bit shabby, he tried to decorate or dress them up a little.  When you moved into one of his houses, not only would you find furniture, but you would also find pictures on the walls.

I was in elementary school when we lived on Cherry Street; so some of my memories might be a bit fuzzy.   But I do remember Mr. Miller always being very kind and patient.

One hot summer day, I poked my head inside the open front door of a house that I knew was vacant.  There was Mr. Miller, with sweat pouring down his face.  He had sawhorses set up with a piece of plywood on top for a make-shift work table.  He was slopping paste on the back of a strip of wallpaper.

I think Mr. Miller Loved wallpaper!  Maybe it was cheaper than sheet rock & paint.  Whatever the reason, he used the stuff a lot!

I can remember a bathroom that was wallpapered with pretty ladies in big hats.  Some of the ladies where applying lipstick.  Some of the ladies had big feathers in their hats.  I thought that paper was so pretty and glamorous!

One bedroom that I remember quite well had a ceiling that was wallpapered with a background of dark blue with white stars covering it.  You slept under the stars at night!

Life on Cherry Street was hard for my mom.  She was struggling to raise 4 kids alone.  Back then, you didn’t get Food Stamps, you got commodities.  From the government, we got big blocks of cheese or big cans of peanut butter.  The kind where you had to stir the oil back down into it.

Money was Always tight.  There were times when we would have pancakes for dinner; because that’s all there was.  Mom would try to make light of the situation.  We would have a pancake eating contest!  I could Almost eat as much as my big brothers, but not quite.

Clothing was either church donated, hand-me-downs, or second hand.

In the summertime, to make our shoes last longer, Mom would take scissors and cut the top of the toes off a pair of tennis shoes, so that as our feet grew, the toes could hang out over the front edge.  These became our sandals for the summer.  Somehow, Mom always managed to get us shoes before school started in the fall.

Looking back on this time is bitter-sweet.  I was very young and very innocent.  I never felt that my life was a hardship.  I was happy.  I had friends; I had a family that loved me.  I went to bed at night tucked into my nice warm bed, under the stars!  I didn’t know that I lived any different than anyone else did.

I thank God for Mr. Miller and his houses on Cherry Street.

 

 

H- Home


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I know, I know.  It’s been a while.

When I hear the word home I always get a little wispy.  I’ve moved So Many Times.  I’ve started over So Many times.  So the word Home probably has a different meaning to me than it does to you.

I didn’t grow up with lifelong childhood friends.  I remember few people I went school with because they were not in my life very long.

I lot of people can drive through their “home town” and drive right to the house they grew up in and point at it.  They can tell you all kinds of childhood memories about that house.

I have no home town or house I “grew up” in.

I grew up mostly in the back of the station wagon, or in a tent.  A lot of my very early childhood memories are of berry fields and orchards.  I would play among the fruit as my parents worked to harvest it.

Sure I went to school, but many different schools.

After I left home at the tender age of 16, I was on the move again.  I was a young woman without a brain cell in her head, trying to figure it all out.  I went wherever the wind or my inclination at the time led me.

Before I was 20 years old, I had lived in Oregon, Washington, California, Arizona, Texas, Wisconsin and Tennessee.  There may be more locations mixed in there that I don’t remember.

As an adult, (am I REALLY an adult?) I’ve continued to move again and again.

Once in a while I am a bit envious of those that had a steady upbringing.  Those kids that came home from school to the same house every day.  Or met up with friends they had had since the 2nd grade.  But then again, I’ve met people that have never left the county they now live in!  I can’t imagine that!

My life, good, bad or otherwise is what has shaped me into the person I am today.   I’m pretty pleased with that person.  When I look on the mirror and that (mature) woman looks back at me, I like to think that she did pretty well for herself!

I’m pretty sure that the specific house I’m in right now will not be my last.  I don’t know what the future holds for me, but I have the feeling that I’m right where I should be.

 

Why I Write


Lori Schafer’s Blog is pretty amazing and so is she! Her outlook on her reason for writing is amazing. Please give it a look!

Lori Schafer's Short Subjects I Feel Like Writing About

First, let me thank writer and born buckaroo Charli Mills for introducing me to this blog hop. You can read her “Why I Write” post here:

http://carrotranch.com/2014/08/19/why-i-write/

Like Charli, I have no single explanation for why I write. I am not one of those writers who feels internally compelled to write, as if it’s as necessary to me as eating or breathing. For a long time – fifteen years, in fact – I didn’t write at all, unless it was for school or work. I’ll never know the reason why I stopped – I simply lost the creative impulse, I suppose – but I do know why, two and a half years ago now, I started again.

A few years back, I found myself with an inexplicable yet incredibly powerful attraction to a married man. I suppose it’s quite common at my age, because by the time you get to be…

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The Adventure of Moving With Pets


Moving can be quite the adventure.  It can either be a good experience or a bad one.

My pets seem to have mixed reviews about their new space.  My little dog, Rocket, is fine with it.  He’s enjoying all the new smells to investigate and a little yard that is all his to pee and poop in!  He is just happy to be there.

Rocket

Rocket has a joyous attitude about everything in life.  He is just a very happy little guy.  There isn’t a day that goes by that he doesn’t make me smile.

My cat, Otis, has a totally different attitude about the whole thing.  He stayed hidden during most of the first 2 days.  I had him snuggle up in bed with me, but he would wander off into another room and start yowling and hollering!  Maybe he felt lost.  I don’t know.

 Otis 2

Everything around these animals is new.  After the movers left, then the Charter guy showed up to hook up my internet.  After he left the guys delivered my washer & dryer.

So not only is my kitty in a new place but there are strangers here too!  A very frightening experience!

Otis’ litter box is in a new place.  His food has been moved.  The living room is twice the size of the last one, etc., etc.

Otis is an indoor kitty.  So his world is very small and I have just messed with EVERYTHING in his world!

With Otis hollering the 3 of us didn’t get a lot of sleep the first couple of nights in the new place.

The first thing I had to find was the dog and cat food and of course their treats!  The fact that I cannot function without coffee had to take a back seat to the pets’ needs.  So after the “kids” were settled in, THEN I could look for my coffee pot, filters and coffee.

The adventure continues….. Maybe tonight I’ll finally find the coffee cups!

 

 

 

 

 

Moving, Yet Again


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I don’t usually use my blog like a journal, but today I’m making an exception.  Moving is stressful and sometime traumatic, and dear readers, I am subjecting myself to it, willingly, yet again!

I was born with wheels on my butt.  At least it seems so.  I have lived all over the United States.  As a kid, I had a step-dad that picked fruit for a living.  Later on, my mother married a man in the Air Force.

Much of my early youth was spent in the back of the station wagon.  We would load up and move with the car piled high with our belongings.  We looked a bit like the Beverly Hillbillies.  I would be in the very back of the wagon with my baby brother.

After I moved away from home, at the tender age of 16, I continued to move.  My first marriage at 16 yrs. old didn’t work out.  Big surprise there, huh?  So I moved from Texas to Wisconsin, then back to Texas and finally to Oregon.

I spent a lot of years in Oregon, but moved and lived all over the state.  At one point I moved 6 times in one year!  Crazy, I know.

34 years later I find myself back in the state of Texas and still moving.

I’ve been here about 3 years now and have lived in an apartment during that time.  The apartment, although nice, is not the same as living in a house.  So I got it into my head that I wanted to move, yet again.

I’m getting too old for this crap!

Although I have hired someone to move me, there is still a LOT of work involved in getting ready to make the move.

There was a time when I could load all of my possessions into my Volkswagen Bug and move.  Well, not anymore.

When did we decide we need all this STUFF?

I work full time and I have always been the type of person that is done in after 40 hours.  With the added chore of having to pack, mark, stack, clean, etc., etc., for moving, I am exhausted!

And I’m not done!  I have to finish packing and then make sure the apartment is clean and ready for me to vacate so I can get my deposit back.

I guess I’m whining.

There is still another week and a half before my move.  I have one more full weekend to get everything done that I need to do.

Do I hear any volunteers?   Hello?  Anyone?

 

Life, Death and the Lessons We Learn


I recently had the misfortune of losing a dear friend.  Her death was tragic.  But she left me gifts.

I suppose these types of things always make us ponder and do a double take when it comes to our own lives.  I took stock of what was going on in my own life.  I admit, I was having a bit of a pity party.  The “oh, poor little me” kind of thing.

My life has undergone a lot of changes in the last 5 or 6 years and I was feeling pretty sorry for myself over it.  Well, no more!  This girl is going to Bloom Where She’s Planted!

Something else that really struck me as profound is a saying that goes: “Everything You Want Is On The Other Side Of Fear”.  Wow.  Just….wow….

I realized I was letting my fears hold me back.  Well, no more!  This girl is going to get what she wants, Just On The Other Side of Fear! 

These things didn’t dawn on me until I lost my friend.  I think she sent me a gift.  I think she was saying, “Enjoy your life and don’t stay stuck like I was.  Get out there and LIVE!”

I live in an area that has SO many opportunities to learn, meet people, explore and I have been looking at nothing but the negative side of things.  I’m here.  I may as well make the best of it.  I need to quit being a big chicken and just get out there!!

My friend’s death taught me something else.  It taught me to TALK.  TALK to those around me.  Let them know what’s going on in my life.  Don’t shut people out.  I think a lot of writers tend to be introverts; myself included.  But there is danger in that.

If you don’t talk to people, how will they know if there is something wrong?  Something serious that they could help with?

Share.  It may make a difference between life and death.